St Giles Hospice has waded into the controversy over siting a wind turbine in countryside near Whittington.
Last month the Mercury reported on how a riding club devoted to helping disabled children get in the saddle fears it may have to close if permission is granted for the structure.
Lichfield Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) said its future is at risk due to the proposed 60m tall triple-bladed turbine at land south of Hademore House Bridge, Fisherwick Road.
The renewable energy scheme has already been turned down by Lichfield District Council but applicants JF and BM Gray of Sheepwash Farm, Whittington, have appealed.
The club recently hosted a well-attended meeting at Whittington Village Hall, where RDA chairman Debbie Hoskins gave a presentation to local residents.
Now St Giles Hospice’s group chief executive Peter Holliday has said the charity is “concerned” the turbine will impact on its patients.
“As a registered charity, St Giles Hospice can only be concerned with matters which affect its purpose which is the delivery of services to local people with life limiting illnesses,” he said.
“Our care is holistic, which means we consider everything which relates to the patient, their family and their surroundings.
“We are concerned that the proposed turbine is so large that it will impact upon the visual environment of our patients.”
The Fisherwick Road hospice neighbours RDA’s base at Coton House Farm Stables.
Mrs Hoskins said the meeting showed “there is clearly a fast growing group of local residents in Whittington and Fisherwick who oppose the application, especially after all the relevant facts and information were made clear”.
“It was further stated that, should this application be granted, then not only would the beautiful landscape and greenbelt be ruined, but it could open the floodgates for further similar applications,” she aaded.
“Thus the city could be known as the city of three blades, not spires.
“The impact of the appeal being successful would be the closure of the RDA due to the insurance implications because of the danger to the riders and horses being affected by the wind turbines.”
The original application maintained no properties would be affected by so-called “shadow flicker” from the 500kW turbine, which would have three 26.5m tapered blades, creating a maximum height of 86.5m from the base to the tip of the blades.
But the British Horse Society has investigated the potential equine hazards posed by wind turbines and believes horses may react adversely to blade shadows.
“The safety and wellbeing of our riders is paramount and the risk posed to our horses and ponies being spooked is too high,” said Mrs Hoskins.
“I urge everyone to protect both our countryside and the disabled services by signing a petition of objection against the proposed application appeal.”
Thoughts on the application can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting appeal number App/K3415/A/13/2205360.
Readers can also comment on the appeal by writing to Miss V Williams, The Planning Inspectorate, 3/09 Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN.
Comments must be in by November 18.